Facebook activated its Safety Check feature Sunday after a terrorist bombing in Lahore, Pakistan, but unfortunately, the feature was also activated for users located nowhere near the affected area.
Users as far away as the U.K. and U.S. received Safety Check notifications related to the explosion, which killed at least 70 people and injured nearly 300 others at Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park on Easter Sunday.
Facebook said in a post on its Disaster Response on Facebook page:
We activated Safety Check today in Lahore, Pakistan, after an explosion that took place there. We hope the people in the area of the bombing find Safety Check a useful and helpful way to let their friends and family know they are OK. Unfortunately, many people not affected by the crisis received a notification asking if they were OK. This kind of bug is counter to our intent. We worked quickly to resolve the issue and we apologize to anyone who mistakenly received the notification.
This morning we activated Safety Check in Pakistan after a bomb targeted children and their families in a park in Lahore. Over the last two months, we have activated Safety Check several times for acts of terror–including in Turkey and Belgium—so people in the area can let their friends and loved ones know they’re safe.
Each of these attacks was different, but all had a common thread: They were carried out with a goal to spread fear and distrust and turn members of a community against each other.
I believe the only sustainable way to fight back against those who seek to divide us is to create a world where understanding and empathy can spread faster than hate, and where every single person in every country feels connected and cared for and loved. That’s the world we can and must build together.